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15 Films you shouldn’t miss at the 23rd Taipei Film Festival

These are fifteen films you shouldn’t miss at the 23rd Taipei Film Festival which will take place from September 23rd – October 9th, 2021.

– Recommended Films –

A Balance by Harumoto Yujiro – Japan | 2020 – 153 minutes
Section: International New Talent Competition

Documentary director Yuko is putting together a piece about bereaved families connected to a bullied schoolgirl’s suicide that happened three years earlier. Determined to shed light on the truth, Yuko’s uncompromising nature brings her into conflict with conservative-minded management at her documentary’s television network, but she succeeds in getting her interview subjects to emerge from their shells and place their trust in her.

Screening Dates:
September 27th, 2021 | Monday | Vie Show Cinemas Taipei Hsin Yi 11 | 18:20 pm
October 1st, 2021 | Friday | SPOT HUASHAN Cinema A One | 20:00 pm

Trailer:

A Lean Soul by Chu Hsien-che – Taiwan | 2020 – 104 minutes
Section: Taipei Film Awards- Documentary

A Lean Soul examines the life and works of Taiwanese novelist Qi Dengsheng. The filmmakers were able to obtain in-depth interviews not only with Qi’s closest friends and relatives, but also with the notoriously camera-shy Qi himself. The film also vividly dramatizes many passages from Qi’s intensely autobiographical works of fiction. The result is an intimate and candid portrait of one of the most important and controversial Taiwanese writers of the last fifty years.

Screening Dates:
October 6th, 2021 | Wednesday | Vie Show Cinemas Taipei Hsin Yi 11 | 21:30 pm

Trailer:

A Leg by Chang Yao-sheng – Taiwan | 2020 – 115 minutes
Section: Taipei Awards-Narrative Features

This story begins with a leg about to be amputated. The leg’s owner is Zi-han who thought he would soon be discharged from the hospital soon after the operation but develops complications and passes away unexpectedly. His wife Yu-ying is inspired to seek his missing leg. During the course, she starts to recall how he led her in a waltz when they first met, how they fell in love, and how their relationship gradually shattered. Retrieving the leg is how she tries to properly say farewell to the man she once loved. Only after that can she begin her own journey by herself.

Screening Dates:
October 4th, 2021 | Monday | Vie Show Cinemas Taipei Hsin Yi 11 | 14:50 pm

Trailer:

A River Runs, Turns, Erases, Replaces by Zhu Shengze – USA | 2021 – 87 minutes
Section: Reality Bites

A portrait of urban spaces along the Yangtze River in the city of Wuhan. An engaging communal stage, on which people perform in various ways: some dancing, singing, swimming; some shoveling, welding, and hammering. An evolving landscape that is continuously sculpted by nature and dramatically altered by roaring machines and rising infrastructure. Where desires are planted. Where memories are buried. The lost place.

Screening Dates:
September 25th, 2021 | Saturday | SPOT HUASHAN Cinema A Two | 18:10 pm
September 29th, 2021 | Wednesday | SPOT HUASHAN Cinema A Two | 20:40 pm
October 4th, 2021 | Monday | SPOT HUASHAN Cinema A Two | 15:50 pm

Trailer:

Along The Sea by Fujimoto Akio – Japan, Vietnam | 2020 – 89 minutes
Section: Asian Prism

An, Nhu and Phuong, three young Vietnamese women in their early 20s, work as technical trainees in Japan. Unsatisfied with their situation, they decide to escape, becoming illegal residents in Japan.

Dan, a middle-aged Vietnamese man, introduces them to a fisherman for work and a shed to stay for free. Traveling by train and ferry, they arrive in Northern Japan. Despite the illegal working conditions, the trio feel relieved as they have found work and their wages are doubled. As they start their work, Phuong suddenly falls to the ground, stricken with severe pain. Worried, An and Nhu take Phuong to a hospital, but they are refused admission for not having an ID card. Phuong then begins looking into how to get fake ID documents.

Screening Dates:
September 28th, 2021 | Tuesday | Vie Show Cinemas Taipei Hsin Yi 11 | 14:00 pm
October 2nd, 2021 | Saturday | Vie Show Cinemas Taipei Hsin Yi 11 | 19:10 pm
October 6th, 2021 | Wednesday | Vie Show Cinemas Taipei Hsin Yi 6 | 22:00 pm

Trailer:

Any Crybabies Around? by Sato Takuma – Japan | 2020 – 108 minutes
Section: World Cinema

A man is caught on live national TV naked and drunk in the middle of the sacred Namahage Festival, where men dress in ogre-like costume and visit homes to scare kids into behaving well in the next year. Tasuku, a young father, is ostracized for shaming the village and its tradition and flees to Tokyo alone.

Two years later he returns to his hometown to make it up to his ex-wife and their little daughter, only to find himself faced with a very difficult situation.

Screening Dates:
September 25th, 2021 | Saturday | SPOT HUASHAN Cinema A Two | 20:40 pm
October 6th, 2021 | Wednesday | Vie Show Cinemas Taipei Hsin Yi 11 | 18:50 pm

Dead & Beautiful by David Verbeek – Taiwan, Netherlands | 2021 – 99 minutes
Section: Taipei Film Awards-Narrative Features

After a weird night, five bored, super-rich friends find out they are vampires. Panic! Is this really what they have become? Can they still trust one another? Each and every one goes to extreme lengths to find out.

This take on the vampire genre plays generously with societal tension and expectations at a meta level. The opulent but eerie locations and impressive cityscapes are mesmerizing, yet function as a backdrop for themes such as violence, isolation and innocence.

Screening Dates:
September 30th, 2021 | Vie Show Cinemas Taipei Qsquare 6 | 19:00 pm
October 3rd, 2021 | Vie Show Cinemas Taipei Hsin Yi 11 | 20:20 pm

Trailer:

Drifting by Jun Li – Hong Kong | 2021 – 113 minutes
Section: Asian Prism

Just out of jail, Fai finds a spot on a street corner where other homeless people welcome him. But he doesn’t get much time to settle in. The police soon chase them away, and their possessions disappear into a garbage truck. Young social worker Ms Ho thinks it’s time to fight this in court. In the meantime, Fai and his friends have other concerns.

Shot during the period of intense protests on the streets of Hong Kong (which are not shown, although they were an influence on the film) and against a backdrop of the contrast between luxury high-rise buildings and makeshift huts under viaducts, Jun Li paints a committed, human picture of a marginalized group, showing friendship and solidarity, conflict and tragedy.

Screening Dates:
September 26th, 2021 | Sunday | SPOT HUASHAN Cinema A Two | 11:20 am
October 1st, 2021 | Friday | Vie Show Cinemas Taipei Hsin Yi 10 | 21:40 pm
October 6th, 2021 | Wednesday | Vie Show Cinemas Taipei Hsin Yi 10 | 15:00 pm

Trailer:

I Weirdo by Liao Ming-yi – Taiwan | 2020 – 104 minutes
Section: Taipei Film Awards-Narrative Features

Po-ching is an OCD patient, with serious symptoms of mysophobia. He has been conditioned to the endless cleaning habits in his daily life. His “”quirkiness”” has also isolated him from the general public and people see him as a completely weirdo. Po-ching goes out for daily needs shopping on the 15th of each month. Someday, he meets another weirdo Chen Ching.

It is fate to make Po-ching and Chen Ching to meet each other. They finally find another who is in the same boat. Their relationship is spotless and perfect. But everything becomes different when Po-ching’s OCD disappears suddenly.

In the world of love, we are each other’s weirdos. When the love is gone, I am not attracted to your quirkiness anymore.

Screening Dates:
October 6th. 2021 | Wednesday | Vie Show Cinemas Taipei Hsin Yi 10 | 18:00 pm

Trailer:

My Missing Valentine by Chen Yu-hsun – Taiwan | 2020 – 119 minutes
Section: Taipei Film Awards-Narrative Features

Xiao-chi does everything so quickly that she’s always one step ahead of others. Her dull job in the post office, where a slow bus driver coming to mail a letter every day. Xiao-chi is approaching 30 and has been looking forward to her first love to come. Finally, on the eve of Valentine’s Day, a hot guy asks her out. As she anticipates her first date, she wakes up the next morning and finds that the Valentine’s Day has mysteriously passed…

Screening Dates:
October 6th, 2021 | Wednesday | Vie Show Cinemas Taipei Hsin Yi 11 | 15:20 pm

Trailer:

Short Vacation by Kwon Min-pyo, Seo Hansol – South Korea | 2020 – 79 minutes
Section: International New Talent Competition

Four middle school students, who are the members of a photography club receive an old-fashioned analog camera from their teacher. The teacher asks them to take pictures of “the end of the world” during summer vacation. While they discuss where would be “the end of the world”, they get on the subway to go to the very last station as one of the girls suggests.

Screening Dates:
September 24th, 2021 | Friday | Vie Show Cinemas Taipei Hsin Yi 11 | 19:10 pm
October 2nd, 2021 | Saturday | SPOT HUASHAN Cinema A One | 20:50 pm
October 5th, 2021 | Tuesday | SPOT HUASHAN Cinema A One | 17:30 pm

Trailer:

The Edge of Daybreak by Taiki Sakpisit – Thailand, Switzerland | 2021 – 116 minutes
Section: Future Lights

The Edge of Daybreak examines the devastating psychological landscape of a dysfunctional family as it falls from grace in the shadow of wars. On the eve of a shift in political power, a woman is taken to a safe house, sharing a final meal with her husband before he is smuggled abroad.

30 years earlier, Ploy was a young girl in a coma after nearly drowning. Her father, a soldier, has been missing for three years and her mother is recovering from a nervous breakdown. Together with her lover and her husband’s younger brother, she relives the traumas of their youth.

Screening Dates:
September 27th, 2021 | Monday | SPOT HUASHAN Cinema A One | 20:40 pm
September 30th, 2021 | Thursday | SPOT HUASHAN Cinema A One | 14:40 pm
October 7th, 2021 | Thursday | SPOT HUASHAN Cinema A One | 12:10 pm

Trailer:

The Silent Forest by Ko Chen-nien – Taiwan | 2020 – 104 minutes
Section: Taipei Film Awards-Narrative Features

Deaf teenager Chang Cheng transfers to a school for children with special needs. However, the world of the hearing-impaired doesn’t seem quiet at all. When Chang witnesses the “game” taking place in the last row on the school bus, his excitement about blending into a new environment immediately turns into fear. Seeing Bei Bei, the girl he has a crush on, getting hurt so badly, Xiao Guang, the ringleader, behaving like a king and other schoolmates acting innocent, Chang debates with himself on whether he should reveal the cruel truth about the game or whether he should join in. As the divide between the perpetrators and the victim begins to blur, confusion and anxiety grow among everyone in school.

Screening Dates:
October 5th, 2021 | Tuesday | Vie Show Cinemas Taipei Hsin Yi 10 | 18:50 pm

Trailer:

Treat or Trick by Hsu Fu-hsiang – Taiwan | 2021 – 106 minutes
Section: Taipei Film Awards-Narrative Features

During a police raid led by the bent cop Feng and his men, Feng’s buddy Chiang gets another idea after seeing the offenders’ prized possession. He takes the diamonds, skipping town to a distant village to lie low. Feng has no choice but brings his men Monk and Yang to retrieve the diamonds in 48 hours. Oddly enough, Chiang’s cell phone signal suggests that he is in the village, but Feng cannot find him anywhere. Feng can only begin dealing with the seemingly innocent yet weird villagers, entailing everyone playing mind games on one another. Amidst this chaotic situation, a female ghost shows up, making it even worse…

Can Feng eventually discover the truth and get his buddy back? Good or evil, the uncertainty leaves everyone unsettling and suspicious.

Screening Dates:
October 7th, 2021 | Thursday | Vie Show Cinemas Taipei Hsin Yi 11 | 19:30 pm
October 7th, 2021 | Thursday | MUVIE CINEMAS TITAN | 20:00 pm

Trailer:

Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy by Hamaguchi Ryusuke – Japan | 2021 – 121 minutes
Section: Visions

An unexpected love triangle, a failed seduction trap and an encounter that results from a misunderstanding.

Meiko is startled when she realizes that the man, who her best friend starts to have feelings for, is her ex; Sasaki plots to trick his college professor out of revenge while Natsuko encounters a woman who seems to be someone from her past, leading the two to confess the feelings they have harbored in their hearts.

Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy shows the stories about the complexities of relationships told through coincidences that happen in the lives of women in love.

Screening Dates:
October 4th, 2021 | Vie Show Cinemas Taipei Qsquare 6 | 19:00 pm

Trailer:

For more information please visit: https://www.taipeiff.taipei

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